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ALISON GUILLORY / WABE

Georgia's seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate for February fell to 5.3 percent, according to the Georgia Department of Labor.

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That's down two-tenths of a point from January.

"Our job growth is doing better than most of the rest of the nation," Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said.

Georgia gained nearly 12,500 jobs last month and 114,000 jobs over the last year, according to the Labor Department.

A section of the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area on Cobb Parkway called the Paces Mill/Palisades facility is about to get major facelift and a new name.
Courtesy of Cumberland CID

Off Cobb Parkway near Paces Mill Road, is a tucked-away section of the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area that's about to get major facelift and a new name.

The recreation area currently known as the Paces Mill/Palisades facility has more than a few problems

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David Goldman / Associated Press

Atlanta was named by a trade publication as America's best big city for people working in the film industry in 2016.

As productions flourish around the city, so do calls for extras, actors participating in non-speaking roles for the purpose of world-building and atmosphere in films and television shows.

House members work during the House's session on the final day of the 2015 legislative session, Thursday, April 2, 2015, in Atlanta.
Branden Camp / Associated Press

The Georgia General Assembly passed a $49 billion budget Wednesday. House Speaker David Ralston said it’s possibly the earliest point in the legislative session lawmakers have agreed on a budget.

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Under the plan, teachers would get a 2 percent raise; state workers who handle child welfare cases would see a 19 percent pay increase; and state law enforcement would receive a 20 percent salary boost.

More Bike Lanes Are Headed To Downtown Decatur

Mar 22, 2017
Pixabay Images

Decatur's City Commission has approved $1 million to build more bike lanes downtown. It's part of the Decatur PATH Foundation Connectivity and Implementation Plan, which is a long-term cycling and walking connectivity plan for the city.

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David Goldman / Associated Press

In nine days the Atlanta Braves will play their first game in their new Cobb County ballpark.

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Team officials have repeatedly said they've got traffic troubles under control and have assured fans that they will be able to get to the stadium on-time.

Those who live and work nearby are bracing for the traffic boost.

Residents of Metro Atlanta voted for officials and SPLOST measures during the March 21st special election.
David Goldman / Associated Press

Jason Lary has won the mayoral election for the new city of Stonecrest, but South Fulton’s race is headed into a runoff this year, following Tuesday’s election.

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In South Fulton, William B. Edwards will face off against Benny Crane in the April 18 runoff, as no candidate received more than 50 percent of the vote.

Alex Brandon / AP Photo

New legislation before the Atlanta City Council would make possession of small amounts of marijuana a citation-only offense.

The ordinance, from Council Member Kwanza Hall, would mean someone caught with less than an ounce of the drug would face a fine of up to $75, not jail time.

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The proposal is similar to a law adopted in the town of Clarkston last July.  

Atlanta City Council president Caesar Mitchell said the council isn’t attempting to greenlight marijuana use.

Georgia Power

Thousands of Georgians are starting the day in the dark, after storms passed through Tuesday night. 

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Georgia Power reports at one point last night more than 171,000 customers were without power. Of those, about 38,000 were in the greater Atlanta area.

The strong storm system started to enter North Georgia in the afternoon.

A New Look For Downtown Atlanta Outlined In Master Plan

Mar 21, 2017
David Goldman / Associated Press

Downtown Atlanta could look a lot different in 15 years.

The City of Atlanta and Central Atlanta Progress are updating the Downtown Atlanta Master Plan for the first time in a decade.

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Jennifer Ball, CAP's vice president of planning and economic development, said some wants are the same, like more bike facilities and walkable streets. She also said parks and green space have now become bigger priorities.

Students at the Aviation Institute of Maintenance.
Alison Guillory / WABE

Tuesday on "Closer Look with Rose Scott and Jim Burress":

Al Such / WABE

For 10 seconds every five minutes, a group of child engineers stops everything they’re doing.

They rush behind a panel and let their fingers glide over a massive panel of blinking buttons. They’re hard at work, waiting for the final countdown.

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Cheers erupt in the room as the space shuttle the engineers can see through a small window begins to billow smoke. The small room is filled with sound as the engines propel the shuttle toward the heavens.

David Barasoain / WABE

The Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area recently gained a bunch of land, 55 acres to be exact.

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Pixabay Images

Many blueberry farmers in Georgia are singing the blues.

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The cold weather that blanketed Georgia last week appears to have crippled this year's blueberry crop.

Joe Cornelius has been growing blueberries since 1989 and is the chairman of Georgia's Blueberry Commission.

He said the last catastrophic freeze Georgia blueberry farmers had was during Easter of 2007.

Doraville Wins Latest Round In Legal Battle With Adult Club

Mar 20, 2017
AP File

Georgia's Supreme Court ruled Monday that Oasis Goodtime Emporium, an adult club in Doraville, can't sell alcohol if it continues to allow nudity. 

The city of Doraville has an ordinance that bans alcohol sales in places considered "sexually oriented businesses" or that feature nude dancing. The ordinance, however, does allow semi-nude dancing. 

Jill Chambers, the director of Oasis, and a former Georgia state representative, said Oasis has become an artistic venue and no longer fits under the "sexually oriented business" ordinance. 

MIRANDA HAWKINS / WABE

One of the people running for mayor of Stonecrest is asking for state and county investigations into a mailer about him sent to voters over the weekend.

The mailer accused Charles Hill of being bipolar and manic depressive and compared him to Anthony Hill, a veteran shot and killed by a police officer two years ago. Anthony Hill's family has said he suffered from mental illness.

Johnny Kauffman / WABE

To make it to work by nine, Chartisia Griffin had to wake up at 4:30 a.m. On public transit, her commute was two-and-a-half hours.

“I'm big pregnant. I'm walking from my house all the way up to the closest bus stop. In the dark, by myself,” she remembered.

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After two trains and another bus, Griffin finally clocked in for what was usually a six-hour shift.

“I'm tired by now because I'm pregnant, I done rode all this far,” she said.

David Goldman / Associated Press

Monday is the deadline for Georgians to register to vote in the April 18 special election.

The biggest race of that day is the contest for the 6th District Congressional seat vacated by former Rep. Tom Price, now the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services.

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While turnout in special elections as a rule isn't especially strong, this could be an exception.

Stephen B. Morton / Associated Press

The Georgia Ports Authority is reporting another month of record growth, in part because of larger cargo ships arriving in Savannah via the expanded Panama Canal.

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Griff Lynch, the authority's executive director, said Monday the Savannah and Brunswick seaports handled 2.94 million tons of cargo in February — up nearly 10 percent from the same month last year. It was also their second-highest monthly tonnage ever. That record was set in January.

Atlanta Takes Annexation Case To Georgia Supreme Court

Mar 20, 2017
Georgia Supreme Court building
Nick Nesmith / WABE

The city of Atlanta is going to the state Supreme Court to try to get back five neighborhoods it annexed from Fulton County.

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Last year, Georgia's General Assembly passed legislation to create the city of South Fulton. It included all of the last unincorporated areas in the county.

The law allowed areas that didn't want to be part of South Fulton to annex into another city, but it gave a time limit.

 

BRENNA BEECH / WABE

The University of Georgia will hold a public ceremony Monday at 3 p.m. to rebury remains construction crews found while expanding a building on campus. The discovery of the remains has highlighted an emotional conversation in the Athens community.

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In late 2015, workers discovered 105 grave sites at Baldwin Hall, a campus classroom building. Of those grave sites, the remains of 30 individuals were preserved.

Todd Kirkland / associated press

The stands are packed with red-and-black-clad fans who chant incessantly, accompanied by a steady drumbeat and swirling flags.

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"Atlanta!" they shout from one end of Bobby Dodd Stadium.

 

"United!" everyone else responds.

 

There's plenty to cheer about with an expansion team that has already displayed a dynamic style of play, scoring 11 goals in its first three games.

 

charles hill campaign

The weekend before Stonecrest residents vote for their first mayor claims of dirty politics were being made.

On Saturday, a mailer that called Charles Hill mentally ill, bipolar and manic depressive was delivered in parts of DeKalb County.

It showed separate pictures of Hill and Anthony Hill, a veteran who was fatally shot two years ago by a DeKalb police officer who has since been indicted.

atlanta botanical garden
Atlanta Botanical Garden

Is the best botanical garden in the U.S. located right here in Atlanta? USA TODAY's 10BEST series is choosing readers' favorites, and the Atlanta Botanical Garden is in the running.

Nineteen botanical gardens across the U.S. are competing in the 10BEST. The top 10 will be selected through online polls. Voting is open through March 27 at 12 p.m. Winners will be announced March 31.

Help Protect WABE And Public Media

Mar 20, 2017
Piedmont Park seen from Atlanta Beltline
Al Such / WABE

You probably heard that there are conversations happening around the role of federal funding in public radio. WABE relies on a federal investment to make up 10 percent of our annual budget. Along with your member support, federal funding helps us deliver the programming you hear on WABE every day. 

‘It’s Unimaginable Feeling Unwelcome In The Country That I Was Born In’

Mar 18, 2017
courtesy of vox

With the election of Donald Trump, political divide is at a seemingly all-time high, causing an uprise in social and racial tensions.

With the Trump administration’s revised travel ban that was scheduled to go into effect on March 16 now on hold  (it bans foreign nationals from six Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S. for 90 days and bans all refugees for 120 days but judges in Hawaii and Maryland have ruled against it) heightening this separation, I decided to investigate what it feels like to be Muslim in the heap of this great American divide.

Alison Guillory / WABE

The director of Georgia's state agency for child welfare services said changes to a bill approved by a Senate panel Thursday evening could put millions of dollars in federal funding at risk.  

Republican senators approved a change to a 100-page bill intended to modernize the state’s adoption laws. The change would allow private foster and adoption agencies to refuse services based on their “mission as evidence by its written policy, statement or other document.”  

Patrick Sullivan

 

Friday on "Closer Look with Rose Scott and Jim Burress":

Al Such / WABE

This week, a federal judge in Hawaii temporarily blocked President Donald Trump's revised order on travel and immigration.  The renewed legal battle comes at a time when Atlanta area religious leaders are working out their messages to their congregations, about the president's order--and about immigration in general.

On the day the judge in Hawaii issued the temporary block on the president's order, WABE's Denis O'Hayer spoke with Atlanta Catholic Archbishop Wilton Gregory at the archdiocese office in Smyrna.

The 11-year-old Tara Grinstead case has been solved, police say.
Elliott Minor / Associated Press

More information may soon be available in the Tara Grinstead case.

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Last month authorities charged Ryan Duke with killing Grinstead in 2005. Since then there's been a gag order on the case.

Duke's lawyer said the gag order is necessary to make sure that his client receives a fair trail.

Thursday, a number of news organizations challenged the order. The attorneys representing those outlets said the order restricts free speech and is too broad.

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